Friday, February 18, 2011

Slacking on my blogging... Let's catch up!

Song: Movin' Out
Artist: Billy Joel

Hey blogsters! It's been forever. I seriously haven't blogged in like 2 years (what a shame). Crazy things have been happening in the past year... but I'll get back to that later. For now, I'd just like to touch on the present. Life has been changing for the Soucy family... changes we didn't exactly expect.

To start of, let me just clear the air and announce that I am NOT pregnant. I got a few of those texts... and started laughing. If I ever do get pregnant, be sure that I'll call you first before I tweet. Now! To get to the meat and potatoes... My husband and I are moving out of our house... not because we want to, but because of circumstances out of our control. Before you read, let me ask you to not feel bad for us, because worse things are happening in the world. All we need is prayer for patience and for mercy from the investor who owns our mortgage. Let's start from the beginning... last year: March of 2010.

Around March last year, our adjacent neighbors were super cool. It was an awesome Chinese family who were quiet, nice, and very clean. We really liked them because we never had to worry about a noise problem or a cleanliness problem. Much to our despair, they suddenly moved out after living there for about 6 months without notice. We finally found out they moved out because they thought Thomas was beating me up and it was freaking them out (It turned out to be the neighbor behind them that had an abusive relationship). After they moved out, a new set of tenants set up camp. These new tenants seemed nice. At least we thought...

The new tenants are an older set of people (around 50s-60s) who are living off disability and government checks (and food stamps). They are not the cleanest people, in fact, they do not shower often (still not sure why, our association covers our water bill). They are nice, though. We have taken one of the tenants to church with us a couple of time to try and reach out, but he says that they are all pretty much set in their ways. They all smoke... a lot (since they don't work and stay at home all day). All they do all day is sit around at home, smoke, and watch TV... which is cool... if it wasn't going to start the problem we have now. It's basically a frat house for old people with nowhere else to go. Cool. Now that I've explained their situation, let me explain ours.

Touching on the smoking thing... they literally use whatever money the have for things to smoke (cigarettes, black and mild, illegal smokables ... etc). Unfortunately, there seems to be some kind of leak in the ventilation systems, so all of their smoke (second hand) comes into our home. This means all of our clothes smell like we've been hanging at the Hard Rock Hotel. Febreeze has worked wonders for us, but you can't febreeze books (and now when I sell them on Amazon, I can't list it from a smoke free home). You wouldn't think that second had could make that much of a difference, but over time, it does! On top of that, the second hand has been affecting our health. I haven't had asthma since I was 7, but now keep an allergy inhaler in the house because the smoke is a trigger. I haven't had to use it since I take antihistamines, which is a blessing, but we are still concerned for our overall health (and you all know the damages that can be done with 2nd hand). Our neighbors try to smoke outside, but somehow, the smoke still manages to make its way into our home. Fine. We dealt with it... but wait! There's more :)

Our neighbors do not like to be clean. They will sweep, but when it comes to bugs, they do not care. They keep their sliding glass door wide open all day and night. You can imagine what kind of things come in. Roaches. All varieties... german, american, mini, big, baby, adult... RIDICULOUS! So, those roaches, like the cigarette smoke, make their way into our home via connected plumbing and through our ventilation leak. How did we narrow it down to plumbing and ventilation? We literally re-caulked all the floors in our entire home like 3 times.. changed out our carpeting to wood flooring, and foamed around literally all plumbing. Thomas even caulked all the outlets in the house. Turns out roaches CAN swim, and can also hold their breath for about 40 minutes (good to know). So, now we have roaches (as of May, 2010). Gross. We try to be very clean (and those of you who have been to our house can agree... we are clean) and keep things like this out. Roaches carry nasty diseases.... diseases we don't want. The problem got out of hand, so we called an exterminator. After a few visits, the roach appearances dwindled, but still happened. Lets flash forward to December.

In December, 2010, we bought our first Christmas tree. We found something that looked like a tick on the wall, and it was full of blood. I thought to myself, "Oh, this must be a tick that came with the tree by accident... that's okay". WRONG. Turns out, my neighbors now have BEDBUGS. Like the roaches and the smoke, the bedbugs learned how to make their way into our house. Well, guess what happened. Our neighbors finally decided to fog their house (without telling us). After they did this (on Dec. 23), they left their front door open so that all the roaches and bedbugs in their house could run outside. They decided to come into our house through tiny cracks in our weather stripping in the front door. Needless to say, Christmas eve and Christmas day were sleepless nights. We ended up using painters tape around the front door so that nothing could come in. They still made their way in through the ventilation leak. So, here's the runaround... We have 2nd hand smoke, roaches, and bed bugs. Gross. We have not had guests at our house for many months, fearing what friends could take home with them. Since then, we have had to wake up and go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual so that we can inspect clothing and the bed for bedbugs (they like to travel). In the craziness of this all, we've lost two sets of bedsheets. The first were set on fire (by accident while checking the mattress... funny story) and the second were infested with bedbugs after not checking for 2 nights.

Now we are pretty much up to speed to present day. To date, we have spent money on the floor, recaulking, extermination for roaches, and extermination for bedbugs (850 bucks per treatment man... crazy). Our neighbors agreed to exterminate for bedbugs the same day as us so that it wouldn't be a recurring problem (and they were threatened by the association to be evicted if they didn't). Well, they didn't and we did. That means we just wasted 850 bucks. The neighbor said they wanted new estimates for prices, but they could have told us that when we gave them notice 2 weeks earlier. Our exterminator went in the neighbors house and came out doing what looked like the mexican hat dance. He said their floor was moving. Literally, moving. They still haven't exterminated. The association found out that they can't evict our neighbors because the owner of the unit has not been completely foreclosed on yet. Simply stated, the owner is being foreclosed on and is collecting money from the tenants and just pocketing it without paying her mortgage. Why would she evict them? Especially now that her unit is destroyed. We called the department of health. Turns out you cannot use the Department of Health unless you file a legal claim against the neighbors first. Crap.

So here we are. My husband has decided to short sale our house because of the health hazards that we are under. Therefore, we are now moving in to my parent's house. The pros: no more bedbugs, roaches, smoke, or neighbors. The cons: if the investor who owns our mortgage is not merciful (with our short sale price and possible lump sum to get out) with our situation, Thomas's credit will be hurt...badly. That means it will be hard for him to get a job and hard for us to buy a new home when we're ready. Other cons: we are being driven out of our home by tenants... lol. When does that happen?! This is all craziness. Everything is a work in progress, and we are living one day at a time now. We will be moving some of our clothes to my parents house this weekend to start the process.

Here's where you come in. Please pray for us. A lot. Like a lot a lot. We need prayer. Patience, wisdom, and understanding. That's all we ask. Don't feel sorry for us. Things like this happen to people all the time (or so I hear). Pray that we can get out with minimal damage and that some day (hopefully sooner than later) we can find a permanent home. We've more or less have had positive attitudes throughout this situation, which is a divine blessing. That's pretty much it. Thanks for reading. Hope to be blogging more from now on so that I don't have to bombard you with a wicked long blog!

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